The ski weekend: every detail counts
Posted by - Claire Louise Barry on Wed 25th July 2012
The success of a ski weekend lies in the planning. Since time is of the essence, it’s important to ensure that every variable you can reasonably control is accounted for. So, while inclement weather, plane delays and unhelpful hotel staff may be beyond what you’re capable of mitigating, pretty much everything else should be planned down to the finest detail.
First off, a ski weekend inevitably throws up an immediate choice. If you want to avoid the increased costs of flying out on a Friday evening and back on a Sunday night, take some days off work and travel from Thursday to Monday. If, however, time away from the office simply isn’t an option, swallow the hit – it’s always worth it – and plan for a two night trip.
Where you plan to go, of course, is the first and most important consideration. The idea is to find somewhere with as short a transit time as possible. This means finding a resort that’s both close in terms of flight time and easy to get to after landing. Here are a few suggestions:
Chamonix, France - For a romantic getaway
An obvious choice for a reason; it’s just over an hour from Geneva airport so ease of access isn’t a problem, while it has all the ski hotels, facilities and slopes you could possibly want. The history and atmosphere of the resort also make Chamonix an ideal romantic weekend destination for two.
Courmayeur, Mont Blanc, Italy - For those after a challenge
Only a tiny bit further from Geneva than Chamonix, this smaller resort is ideal for a weekend away. The compact nature of the slopes is ideal, allowing you to take it large on as many slopes as possible in a restricted timeframe. More experienced skiers will also appreciate some seriously challenging off-piste routes.
Engelberg, Obwalden, Switzerland - For those after off-piste skiing at its best
This is for the hardcore skiers and boarders who welcome some of the best off-piste skiing in the Swiss Alps. An hour and a half from Zurich Airport, it’s easy to get to, small enough to get around with ease and full of high quality powder at the height of winter.
Wherever you go, pack light. This means taking your ski gear and boots on the plane as hand luggage and hiring skis in your chosen resort before the lifts open the next morning; half an hour waiting at a baggage carousel the night before is potentially half an hour’s less skiing the following day. Try where possible to have your ski pass ready to be picked up in advance, meaning you can turn up to the resort pretty much ready to go.
When it comes to ski hotels, you want to find somewhere with quick access to the main cable car or chairlift. Preferably, try and find somewhere that is close to the ski shops and any restaurants or bars you might consider visiting in the evening; the shorter the walk home, the more refreshed you’ll feel on waking up.
Most ski hotels that work best for weekend breaks tend to be on the smaller size, allowing for a no nonsense stay characterised by efficiency rather than luxury. However, this is not to say that some of the more well-known, older or larger establishments won’t be able to cater for your more streamlined needs.
A ski weekend is the perfect chance to escape from the everyday for a couple of nights – just be sure to plan down to the smallest detail to make your trip a truly worthwhile one.